By: Jim Lavoie
Jessica Cameron is currently blazing a red hot trail through the immensely popular genre of the horror film world. Rapidly becoming a force in film; the beautiful, talented, and sexy Jessica Cameron has had more than 50 productions in a span of a couple of years, including Features, Commercials, Television and Web Series. It seems like every week there is an interview/article talking to or highlighting this vicarious and candid actress’s latest production or some type of recognition being doled her way. I don’t think she knows the words rest and relax or chill because it is pedal to the metal 24/7 for this relentless ball of energy.
Besides being talented, drop dead gorgeous, she is razor sharp and will speak her mind willingly and to the point. Don’t even think of trying to put her in some stereotypical blonde ditz corner because she might easily drop kick your sorry ass or equally as effective verbally lambaste you into submission. She is an excellent writer and does guests articles from time to time on various sites. She shares advice and experiences with others, especially other actresses, to help guide them through any pitfalls/ situations they may encounter .There is a lot of intellectual substance build into that strut of hers. She knows her stuff, carries herself with confidence, and has ambition, drive and the passion to go the extra distance. In a very short time frame she has generated a buzz that should see her soon excelling in whatever genre she chooses. I recently had the chance to talk to Jessica about a variety of things:
Jim: How does a girl from Owen Sound (Ontario, Canada) end up being located in Los Angeles and one of the fastest tracking talents, award winning actress? Describe the road taken and the work involved to make this happen because it must have included training, commitment, and passion for acting to make this a reality?
Jessica Cameron: “funny but true , sometimes it seems like a career chooses you. My original pursuit was in fashion design and upon completion of university was hired by a clothing company in Columbus Ohio. One of the great perks was they even relocated me from Canada.” recalls Cameron “My first year end review revealed that I spoke too quickly, given that speaking was such a minute part of the job, which was apparently a major issue for them!” Her employers suggested a speech class but when that option was not available her boss suggested an acting class.. “I did as asked and was immediately bitten by the bug. For two years I just kept taking classes and had a “Blast ! My teachers kept telling me to get out there and audition but I was working hard at my “real” day job to make ends meet. Finally I took the plunge and went for it. My very first audition I got cast in a feature film “The Dead Matter” , starring Andrew Divoff, Tom Savini and Jason Carter. Being on a set with them was awesome and truth be told very special to actually work with Andrew. I had had a crush on him when I had seen him in the film “The Wishmaster”, I was 15 years old at the time , and here I was working in a film with him.”
“I was having so much fun and I knew that I had found my passion. I literally spent every spare waking moment pursuing it. I was constantly taking classes, showing up at improve events, working on sets, shooting shorts, features, commercials, music videos, etc.
When I was laid off from my day job in Feb of 2010, I knew that this was my opportunity to go after my dream in an even larger way. After working successfully as a full time actress in the mid west, for a year, I have made the move to LA to tackle newer and larger challenges.”
Jim: Looking through your websites, one video interview in particular caught my attention. Not just the fact it was conducted in a hot tub, which was intriguing in itself, but how calm and poised you were. The subject matter was, yes I remember that too, you in conversation about working in the independent film industry. That you felt many high quality films, despite budget restrictions, had and were being generated from that sector. Also in many ways the so called “B” lists of actors/actress might be redefined or closing the gap. The fact that some studios have opened divisions or set aside funds for micro-budgeted film is both a nod to the potential and quality of Indie films. Please explain or elaborate on your thoughts here?
Jessica Cameron: “That interview was so much fun! It was so funny too when they approached me to do it, they told me about what they wanted to cover and then at the very end were like “so….we want to do it in a hot tub…..is that ok?” I actually had not brought a swim suit since I had not planned to do the interview in the hot tub, so I had to borrow one from a friend, but I was totally game for anything!”
“Due to advancements in technology more and more independent film makers are raising the bar without needing large budgets. In low budget independent film making its all about how you use the assets that you have. I have seen some talented film makers create cranes and dollies (usually these are expensive pieces of film gear) out of items they were able to buy for less then $35! When passion, talent and innovation meet, a high budget is not necessarily needed. I am a big believer that the one of the most important aspects of film making is the story, and not all great stories require a large budget. Hollywood has embraced this trend with films like “Paranormal Activity”, which started as a low budget Indy film. That film had a solid story, strong acting and a great director who had a very clear vision and the end result speaks for itself.”
Jim: In terms of Career objectives you have a great handle on where and what you wish to accomplish as an actress. You would like to dominate, already an award winner (Rising Star 2010), and be the top draw in the horror Sci-Fi genre. Then its’ off to comedic and dramatic fare to shoot for Oscars. This year sees you attached to both, what do you have on tap for 2011 for comedy and drama?
Jessica Cameron: “For 2011 I have been largely focused on my transition to LA, its a big move from being based in the mid west. I am very excited for some of the projects that I have upcoming that are outside of the horror genre. One of the projects that are coming out soon is the comedic web series “2 Doors Down”. It centers on a husband who moves 2 doors down from his ex wife with his new, young hippy girlfriend Summer (my character).
They share custody of their young son, and find themselves in a variety of hilarious situations. This was a great project to be involved in and was done in scripted improve style. I love improve (the art of acting without a script) so this was a lot of fun, and the other actors were so very talented. The director/producer had a story line laid out, what notes and beats we (the actors) had to hit and then we would rehearse it and then film the scenes. : http://www.TwoDoorsDownTV.com
“Caught” is a cool action web series that I am in. In it I play an sniper rifle assassin, who is very aggressive and assertive. The other actors were fantastic – and this was a very fun set. I enjoy playing extreme characters, ones who are very opposite to me in real life. I also loved my sniper rifle assassin training; it was a lot of fun!”
“I have a bunch of other projects lined up – but in the wonderful world that is film making I try not to discuss them until they are shot. Many projects can get put on hold for a variety of reasons and sometimes never happen. So I try to focus on what has been shot : )
“Now that I have relocated I am looking forward to being involved in a wider range of genres, and larger scale projects. Its going to be a fun next chapter.”
Jim: You have worked with and for some of the biggest names in Horror, name a few of them and who you would like to work with if the opportunity presents itself? You are also involved “Crocaloctopus” Comic Books. How so?
Jessica Cameron:” I have been so blessed to work with some great and talented people. I would rather not name names since I will inevitably forget to mention someone and possibly hurt someone’s feelings, but you can check out my IMDB Page and see for yourself! http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2781723/ ”
“I would LOVE to work with James Wan and Leigh Whannell – I was just blown away by their spectacular horror film “INSIDIOUS”. If you have not seen it then I HIGHLY recommend. I have worked on projects where Bob Kurtzman was involved, but I really want to work on one that he directs. As far as actors go Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and Tony Todd are high on the list. They are all so talented and show such range, I would love to work with them.”
“Tiffany Shepis, Debbie Rochon and Monique Dupree definitely top the list of ladies I would love to work with. I saw two of Tiffany’s last films, “Cyrus” and “The Frankenstein Syndrome” and loved her performance! Debbie is a legend for so many reasons, far too many to list! Monique and I were actually on a set for a film that neither of us are actually connected to any more and I had so much fun with her. When the camera started rolling she instantly became her character – it was so impressive and intense to be a part of and I can not wait to work with her on a film that neither of us are actually connected to any more and I had so much fun with her. When the camera started rolling she instantly became her character – it was so impressive and intense to be a part of and I can not wait to work with her on a film that will get finished!”
Jim: You are also involved with “Crocaloctopus” Comic Books. How so?
Jessica Cameron: “I play the Ranger Rox in the comic book Crocaloctopus, you can find out more about this cool project here :http://www.facebook.com/Crocaloctopus This is the brainchild of one of my favorite people – Brian Shirley. It was inspired by all the syfy films that combine predators, and has been getting a lot of buzz. Being a part of such a great comic book is easy for the actors/ models. Its the really the creator, writers and artists who do all the work. For this comic book Brian pulled together such an amazing team, I am so blessed to be involved with it !”
Jim: Are you or were you a fan/follower of Horror prior to becoming involved as an actress. When you did and became a participant all of a sudden it was you that covered in the blood and the gore and sex or nudity throw in as well. What was that like for you, I mean did any of it cause you concern or personal dilemma?
Jessica Cameron: “Horror is my favorite genre to watch, it always has been. Part of the reason why is because I love that even bad horror films are often a BLAST to watch. I have never enjoyed a bad comedy that was not funny, but there are some bad horror films that are so bad they are hilarious and still an enjoyable way to pass time. Also I love feeling the emotions that a great horror film can provoke….that heart racing adrenaline rush is amazing!”
“Horror is my favorite film to act in simply because I feel that it is the greatest challenge. As an actor is it more difficult (for me) to make the impossible or at least unlikely seem real. I have never seen what a woman running from a vampire looks like, so to make sure that it looks authentic to the audience can be a great challenge. You really have to dig in deep and go for it!”
“My very first role I got covered in blood, and I had so much fun on set with the cast and crew that I asked if I could come back the following night to be a zombie. Since my character lived they had to make me look totally different so they covered me head to toe in goop, blood, charbroiled flaking skin and I was burn victim zombie. It was so much fun. Now the 2.5 hours in the shower getting all that goop off was much less fun, but didn’t decrease my enthusiasm!”
“Nudity is a part of many genres, and fortunately for me it doesn’t bother me at all. I only have so far agreed to do implied nudity (which means I wear a g string and pasties). But definitely for the right role I would consider going further. Once you get over the initial feeling of “Oh, wow I am in a gesturing mode on set in front of a lot of people”…it becomes shockingly easy to be nearly naked around so many. It is a very liberating experience, I highly recommend it!”
Jim: Outside of your beauty and acting ability you also bring skills in stunt work and weaponry. Have you been able to utilize these for your work? You also have dance and a Fashion Design background which must prove invaluable in your line of work. For those who aspire or would like to become actors/actresses having additional skills/training like say martial arts a may be the difference so would you encourage enhancing those skills?
Jessica Cameron: “Thank you for the kind words! I often use my stunt and weaponry training in the independent film world, and am often required to do more training depending on the role. I have been trained as a sniper rifle assassin, to fall, roll and somersault correctly, and to use a whip : ) That being said I look forward to learning more and further mastering my already existing skills.”
“I consider it a major job perk that I get such cool job training ! I can remember when I had a “day job” and my training consisted of computer programs…..way less fun! I have utilized my fashion background a fair bit as well – on one of my last shoots I actually reworked and redesigned half of my costar’s costume since it did not fit her properly, she was very grateful. Its nice to have skills that can be useful when on a low budget set – particularly when everyone is pitching in to help ensure the set goes well.”
“I highly recommend everyone to follow their passion and if it happens to help with their career then that is awesome. SO if someone wants to study weaponry or martial arts, then they should totally do it. Its just a bonus that in my career I can put that down on a resume.”
Breaking News: Jessica Cameron has been just named Geek Babe for August and has sent me the link for you to enjoy her special photo shoot.
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